Finding an au pair seems like a bit of admin and "work". Either you go through an agency and go through a range of interviews, or you ask around on Facebook or community groups, but even then it might be a stab in the dark.
Enter an app called Au Pair Express (free on iOS and Android), which has closed a big gap, allowing us to find and connect with au pairs much easier. In fact, if you're needing someone to pick up the kids this afternoon, or help your child prepare for a test tomorrow and you're at work, you can use the app to find someone – you just need a lead time of two hours.
I asked the team behind Au Pair Express more about this useful app, and how it works:
How does the app work? And what areas the app is available in?
The app is an on demand marketplace that connects parents with au pairs and babysitters. Parents who find themselves needing extra help can download the app, view au pair profiles in their area, request an interview with an au pair or babysitter, or go ahead and book them. There is a minimum booking time of two hours.
What are the au pair services, i.e. daily, weekends, night, and can one book for once-off au pairs?
The au pairs are available on demand on the app. You can book an au pair once off, with a minimum booking time of two hours.
How do you know what services the au pair offers?
All our au pairs typically offer a similar service, they are au pairs and babysitters with cars, who are available to assist parents with extra mural activities, homework or even just occasional babysitting.
How are the au pairs screened?
Because we know the au pairs would be dealing with the parent’s most precious gifts, we take screening quite seriously. We personally interview all au pairs, we reference check them and background check them though an external background checking company. Background checks performed include criminal record check, ID verification and drivers’ licence history checks. Our au pairs and babysitters are also first aid trained.
If you interview someone or book someone once off, is there a commitment to hire that person full time?
There is no commitment to hire someone, you can use them once off when you need assistance. We can then assist you in making that particular au pair available, subject to bookings and availability, every time you need help.
Do you plan to roll out into other areas?
We intend to roll out into other parts of Johannesburg with expansionary plans into other cities in the near future.
How does one check rates? Does the au pair set the rates?
There is a set hourly rate for all au pairs, and AA related reimbursements for travel. Once you book an au pair, you will be shown the amount to pay and redirected to a payment portal.
What happens if the client has a bad experience with the au pair, and vice versa? Is there protection/accountability from AuPair Express?
Booking through us comes with the advantage that if you do not have a pleasant experience with an au pair, we will give you your next booking with a different au pair selected by you for free. We may also reimburse you depending on the extent of your displeasure.